California Wineries Assess Wildfires’ Long-Term Effects

Many faces challenges making up for losses

 

By ERIC RISBERG, Associated Press

NAPA, Calif. (AP) — A month after deadly wildfires swept through California’s famed wine country, hot-air balloons are floating again over Napa Valley vineyards splashed with fall colors. On the heels of the disaster, a new winery is opening, keeping the name it chose some time ago: Ashes and Diamonds.

The fires had only a minimal effect on the area’s wineries, according to the Wine Institute, an advocacy and policy group. Of the 1,200 wineries in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino, about 10 were destroyed or heavily damaged, and 90 percent of this year’s harvest already was complete, the institute said.

Most vineyards were spared due to their high moisture content,

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